Closing the Book on December


The top of the graphic to the left reads “December to Remember”, but I’m sure a few folks wouldn’t mind forgetting the wild weather of this past month. We nearly tripled the amount of snow we usually shovel during the last month of the year. We almost doubled the total liquid precipitation that we typically collect. On top of all that, any break in the stormy weather was filled with an arctic outbreak. Temperatures were below normal 22 out of 31 days (71%) with today being counted on the cold side of that statistic.

Happy New Year to you all, and let’s hope the weather in January isn’t quite as extreme. -ADAM

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 31, 2008

Weather funnies from "The Onion"

While these videos are PG there are a few words on the screen and on The Onion website that may be offensive to some viewers and readers.
Does “The Weather Channel” have a pro-weather bias? Click here for the story.

Weather Channel Accused of Pro-Weather Bias

And I can’t believe this one slipped by me this past fall! “Live from the Onion News Network Live Three-Sixty-Five Total Weather Coverage Super Tower…”

Extreme Weather Alert: Meteorologists Predict Intensely Brisk Autumn

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 31, 2008

What news anchors really do during commercial breaks

News anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange have worked together so long at WGN-TV that they have come up with a commercial break dance. Click here to view it.

You think Eric and Dani should come up with something like this? After that, maybe there will be a weather jig and a sports rap.

Happy New Year (a day early)! -ES

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 30, 2008

No Fuel for the Fire (snow)


The jet stream is set up in a northwesterly orientation. This will allow a couple quick moving clipper systems to pass through the region during the work week. These pieces of energy won’t produce much snow though, because there isn’t much fuel to work with. The Gulf of Mexico moisture is locked well to the south of us. Until this opens up again, you won’t have to shovel much of the fluffy stuff.

The first ripple in the atmosphere works through the area late this afternoon and early this evening. This could kick up a few flurries, but accumulations appear minor. The second ripple upstream floats through during the second half of your Thursday and sticks around for the beginning of your Friday. This one won’t produce much more than a brief dusting of snow as well. -ADAM

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 30, 2008

Tornado study stuns authors

The Wichita Eagle – The first in-depth study of the Greensburg tornado has uncovered new details and raised fresh questions about one of the strongest and most dramatic tornado outbreaks ever recorded.

“There are a lot of things in that storm that made me go, ‘Wow,’ ” said Les Lemon, a co-author of the study and research associate meteorologist with the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“Most meteorologists will see this kind of storm once in their lifetime.”

A tornado 1.7 miles wide and measuring EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale virtually wiped Greensburg from the map shortly before 10 p.m. May 4, 2007. It killed 11 people and injured more than 50.

It was one of 22 tornadoes that touched down in southern and central Kansas from the same thunderstorm complex that night and early the next morning.

That’s more tornadoes than initially thought, said Mike Umscheid, co-author of the study and the meteorologist who issued the “tornado emergency” warning that night for the Dodge City branch of the National Weather Service. A handful of small tornadoes rotating around larger twisters initially went unnoticed.

Four of the tornadoes were especially large.

The Greensburg tornado’s peak winds were estimated at more than 200 mph based on damage in downtown Greensburg. Read more here

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 30, 2008

Snow analysis


No, I’m not going to analyze tomorrow’s clipper in this post. Instead, I thought I’d share a nifty site that has all sorts of current snowfall info: http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/

You can check out national and regional maps of estimated snow-water equivalent, snow depth, etc. You can also view a loop of each parameter over the past day, two weeks, or entire season! (If you watch a loop, you can make it go faster by lowering the “speed in ms” in the box that pops up.)

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 29, 2008

Whole lotta’ nothin’

Aside from some river flooding (see the post below this one), there is nothing of any consequence happening in our weather. At all. When was the last time I was able to say that?

To illustrate how much nothing is occurring, let’s take a look at a satellite image from this afternoon, with Microsoft Paint stuff on it.

The good news is that our weather will remain mostly devoid of anything for the upcoming week. The only somethings are a slight chance of flurries for Tuesday and a better chance of snow late Thursday into Friday. Otherwise, expect generally nothing conditions.

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 28, 2008

Major flooding expected in Belvidere

Update: Looks like the NWS has significantly scaled back their forecast crest in Belvidere. Definitely some good news.


NWS river forecast calls for a crest of 13 feet on the Kishwaukee in Belvidere. This is in the major flooding category. Click here for more information on this river gage site.

To view river forecasts for the next 48 hours for all gage sites, click here.

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 28, 2008

Severe Weather & Flooding

NEVER CROSS A FLOODED ROADWAY! IF YOU ENCOUNTER A FLOODED ROAD, TURN AROUND! IF YOU LIVE NEAR A RIVER OR STREAM, CLOSELY MONITOR ITS RISES! WATER MAY RAPIDLY RISE DUE TO RUNOFF AND ICE JAMS. IF WATER APPROACHES, EVACUATE YOUR HOME!

22:39 PM) iembot: MKX issues Winter Weather Advisory for Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond Du Lac, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Lafayette, Marquette, Sauk [WI] till 6:00 AM CST

(7:07:56 PM)
nwsbot: DVN extends area+time of Winter Weather Advisory for Jackson, Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine, Scott, Louisa, Henry, Des Moines, Van Buren, Lee [IA] and Clark, Scotland [MO] and Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Henderson, Warren, Hancock, McDonough [IL] till 12:00 AM CST

(3:12:54 PM)
iembot: MKX: 5 Ne East Troy [Walworth Co, WI] trained spotter reports HEAVY RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 02:30 PM CST — water over about a 100 foot long section of county road l…due to snowmelt and rainfall. the water is only about 6 inches deep but covering up a good portion of the roadway.

(3:01:40 PM)
nwsbot: LOT: Sycamore [Dekalb Co, IL] trained spotter reports FLOOD at 03:00 PM CST — kishwaukee river near sycamore is beginning to overflow its banks.

(2:57:03 PM)
nwsbot: MKX: Beloit [Rock Co, WI] trained spotter reports HEAVY RAIN of M0.88 INCH at 02:34 PM CST — 0.88 inches of rain since 1030 am. water over railroad tracks near downtown beloit. water over several over roads…including up to the bottom of an abandoned car near the intersection of butterfly and hart roads. water problems also causing the closing of leeson park.

(2:38:50 PM)
nwsbot: LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] trained spotter reports HEAVY RAIN of M0.00 INCH at 02:37 PM CST — .97 rainfall since this morning. culverts full. still about 2 inches of snow on the ground with dense fog.

(1:57:03 PM)
iembot: MKX: Troy Center [Walworth Co, WI] law enforcement reports HEAVY RAIN of U0.00 INCH at 01:45 PM CST — a combination of heavy rain and melting snow causing some street flooding and water over roads in troy center. exact rainfall rates are unknown.

(1:49:03 PM)
nwsbot: LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] emergency mngr reports TSTM WND DMG at 01:43 PM CST — power lines down.

(1:48:20 PM)
nwsbot: LOT: Rockford [Winnebago Co, IL] emergency mngr reports FLOOD at 01:43 PM CST — street flooding due to snow melt and rainfall.

(1:17:02 PM)
nwsbot: LOT: Oregon [Ogle Co, IL] law enforcement reports FLASH FLOOD at 01:12 PM CST — following roads closed due to flooding…11000 block of route 72 near davis junction…route 251 south of 64…route 2 north of byron. also many county roads flooded.

(1:14:50 PM)
nwsbot: LOT: Amboy [Lee Co, IL] law enforcement reports FLASH FLOOD at 01:12 PM CST — water on roads east half of county. ditches and creeks flooded.

(12/27/2008 12:37:43 PM)
nwsbot: LOT issues Flash Flood Warning for Boone, De Kalb, La Salle, Lee, Ogle, Winnebago [IL] till 8:30 PM CST

(12/27/2008 12:30:15 PM)
nwsbot: LOT issues Tornado Watch for Cook, De Kalb, DuPage, Kane [IL] and Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton, Porter [IN] till 7:00 PM CST

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 27, 2008

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING

(12:16:56 PM) nwsbot: LOT issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for De Kalb, La Salle, Lee, Livingston [IL] till 1:15 PM CST

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This post was written by Eric Sorensen on December 27, 2008